Between piles of unopened mail and squirreled-away stashes of cleaning products, it’s easy for any living area to quickly get overrun by clutter. This is especially true in smaller spaces and studio apartments, where even your bed can seem like an eyesore. (Have you ever looked at apartments for rent in New York, NY? Two words: No storage.)
But don’t sweat the small stuff — or spaces. Here are some creative ways to carve out hidden nooks and crannies for storing all that extra stuff out of plain sight. Now you see it … now you don’t!
1. Artwork on hinges
Anyone who has had to contend with an awkwardly located cable outlet will appreciate this smart solution: an oversized painting on hinges that functions like a medicine cabinet. (It works great for covering thermostats and circuit breakers too.)
2. Stowaway laundry
Nothing negates a clean, well-organized room like a basket full of dirty laundry in the corner (or worse, spread out on the floor). Eschew a fabric laundry bag in favor of a handsome-looking hamper; it can help conceal piles of laundry and even offer additional surface space. Keep washer-bound piles out of sight in a hamper that doubles as an end table, like this one from AllModern.
3. Sneaky space savers
Lacking closet space and looking for an excuse for an extra glass of wine? Store shoes in boxes under your bed, organized with wine box dividers. Or, you know, you could go with these more traditional tricks to make your room seem bigger.
4. Over-the-door organizer
It’s no secret that over-the-door organizers are perfect for extensive shoe collections. But they’re also indispensable home hacks for hair tools, cleaning supplies, and beauty products in bathrooms with scarce cabinet space.
5. Put your bed to work
In tight quarters, a classic platform bed with built-in drawers is a game changer, and you can find stylish options to fit any budget at retailers from IKEA to Pottery Barn. Or try a bookcase headboard and kill two birds with one stone — covert storage space plus an essential furniture piece. If you already have a platform bed, good news: You can find budget-friendly stand-alone bookcase headboards that attach to almost any frame. And if you don’t have the budget for a bed upgrade, try using bed risers and an extra-long bed skirt — you can stash boxes out of sight underneath.
6. Router boxes
Decorative boxes with strategically placed holes are the perfect way to hide unsightly wireless routers and modems and the accompanying tangle of cords.
7. Fabric skirts and curtains
8. Hanging files
Attach hanging file pockets to the outside of bookshelves to keep mail, magazines, and papers organized and off countertops. Even sneakier? Affix them to the inside of a cabinet door with Velcro tape to keep them out of sight.
9. Spice up the bathroom
Teeny-tiny bathroom in your apartment? Take note! Wall-mounted spice racks aren’t just for spices. Decorative spice racks are perfect for holding cosmetics and other toiletries and are easy to remove when it’s time to move out.
10. Multitasking rooms
Even if you don’t have space in your apartment for a true office, there are solutions for organizing a workspace that doesn’t also happen to be your kitchen countertop. Sneak a desk into your guest room’s closet, or make a mini, organized office out of a chest. And for ultra space savings, there are convertible futons that double as everyday desks (now that’s a reason to work late).
11. Kitchen hideaways
Stashing pots and pans inside the oven is a time-tested trick for kitchen storage in small apartments. But if you’re limited on shelf space, try an undershelf storage bin, like this one from The Container Store. You can use the extra space to secret away napkins, boxes of tea, and even coffee cups.
12. Sliding kitchen storage
Need even more storage space in that small kitchen? Put your DIY skills to work and build a skinny sliding storage cabinet on wheels to take advantage of that awkward space between the fridge and the wall. Store your canned goods, spices, or baking supplies here and free up some of that precious cabinet space!
What storage ideas have you invented for your space? Let us know in the comments!